Demons withstand Wichita West
Dodge City boys win sub-state opener, will host Garden City Saturday
By John Zetmeir
Dodge City Daily Globe
The Dodge City Red Demons outscored the Wichita West Pioneers 19-4 in the third quarter on their way to a 53-42 win on Thursday night to begin postseason play.
Senior Dayton McGroarty, who was forced to sit with foul trouble for most of the second quarter, scored seven of Dodge City’s first nine points to start the second half. McGroarty scored 15 points in the substate opener. “I was ready to start playing,” McGroarty said. “I was getting anxious on the bench.”
After a Wichita West basket cut Dodge City’s lead to 25-21, the Red Demons strung together a 12-0 run over the final six minutes of the third quarter.
“We played an excellent third quarter,” Dodge City head coach Dennis Hamilton said. “We rebounded a lot better which was big. We just went to the glass a lot more aggressively, I thought our rebounding improved and we wanted to push it.”
Dodge City (11-10) connected on 11-of-15 shots from the field in the second half after making just 7-of-20 field goals over the first 16 minutes of the game.
Bryce Unruh shouldered much of the scoring load for the Red Demons on Thursday. The Dodge City senior forward finished with 22 points. Unruh and McGroarty scored 17 of Dodge City’s 19 points in the third quarter.
“I thought Bryce had a good game,” Hamilton said. “He did a little inside, did a little outside and knocked down some free throws. We need a little bit more activity (rebounding) but he picked up some slack.”
Dodge City’s win on Thursday set the stage for a third meeting between the Red Demons and their Western Athletic Conference rivals, the Garden City Buffaloes (7-14).
The Red Demons won both meetings against the Buffs during the regular season which included a 79-45 win in Garden City back on February 16. The winner of Saturday’s game will go to the 6A state tournament in Wichita.
“We know each other so well,” Hamilton said. “As far as film work, there is very little to be done between now and when we play them. I just don’t want our kids to be overconfident. What happened at Garden was a fluke. That’s not going to happen, I would bet that it will be a five-point game.”
The Red Demons could be without senior Noah Williams on Saturday. Williams did suit up and participate in warmups on Thursday but did not play against Wichita West. The senior forward averaged 10.5 points and 13.5 rebounds against Garden City this season.
Hamilton did not rule out the possibility of having Williams on Saturday.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday at Dodge City High School.
■ Dodge City – 13 5 19 16 – 53
■ Wichita West – 6 11 4 21 – 42
■ DODGE – Unruh 22, McGroarty 15, Walters 8, Baker 3, Sanchez 2, Karns 2, Reid 1. 18-35 13-18 53.